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James Hanna’s Potential Impact Versus Giants

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This is hot off the DMN press. I just took a look at some stats on the Cowboys’ two-tight end formations and how much they might use James Hanna tonight.

Of course, most people expect one or both tight ends to come off of the field when the ‘Boys want to pass, but again I think that’s unlikely. First of all, the Cowboys utilized no tight ends on just two percent of snaps last year. Plus, it isn’t like you can continually run from certain formations and pass from others. You have to throw from your “running” formations often, and vice versa, in an effort to fool defenses. Knowing that, Garrett loves to throw from “12” personnel—one running back and two tight ends—doing so 68 percent of the time in 2011.

Yet another reason you could very well see plenty of two-tight end sets tonight is that, as I explained in my article on how the Cowboys can take down the Giants, the G-Men will likely play a lot of Cover 2 (and variations of it). The weakness of Cover 2 is the middle of the field, meaning an explosive pass-catching tight end can be a killer to the coverage. That doesn’t exactly describe Phillips, but Hanna could very well play that role for Dallas tonight.

Ultimately, I think you’re going to see Hanna get upwards of 25 snaps tonight.

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